What is the Jesse Tree?
The idea of a Jesse tree comes from Isaiah 11:1-2
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—
and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
In Isaiah, God’s people were living in exile, cut off from intimate relationship with the living God. They felt hopeless and in despair. They could not see past their failures. The stump of Jesse is a symbol of sadness and discouragement. Of inadequacy, hurt, and shame.
We were that sad stump of Jesse before Christ entered our hearts. And even now, we may FEEL that discouragement and failure.
But there is hope! Even in these circumstances, God promised His people that there would come a new time of renewal, building, and planting.
Right there, in Isaiah 11:1-2, God promises new life springing from the dead stump; a new King emerging from the cut off lineage; a new light of good tidings shining in the dead of winter!
Just as Isaiah was announcing the end of exile and the bringing back to life a people who were dead (think, field of dry bones), he was looking forward and seeing the ultimate redemption plan, the ultimate life-giving salvation of God through Christ, the branch that would bear much fruit.
Isaiah 40:1-11 (emphasis mine)
You who bring good news to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
God is faithful. He fulfilled his promises and brought about restoration with His people through Christ, who is the revelation of the love, grace, and faithfulness of a compassionate God. And as we celebrate His first coming, we look forward to the second advent and the completion of all His promises.
WOW! That’s what I see when I look at our Jesse tree at Christmas. I see the 4,000 year long redemption plan of God! And the fact that while He was doing His work, He had you and I, our children and grandchildren, in mind.
Giving Our Hearts to Jesus Every Day
We want our children’s days (and ours as well!) to be saturated with this story in the days leading up to Christmas. We hope and pray that their Christmas memories will be full of joy and full of awe. Full of worship and devotion.
We pray that their identity in Christ would be firmly rooted in their little souls, and that they would see themselves in the “To” line of God’s love letter, starting all the way back in Genesis.
I pray that you would enter into this Christmas season with great anticipation, expecting and seeking to meet with Jesus every day.
Get Started with the Jesse Tree!
There are many ways to get started with the Jesse Tree
- Use the Jesse Tree Lego Challenge
- Use the Jesse Tree Action Bible Reading Plan
- Find more simple ways to get started
- More printables and resources!
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